Jesus and Fishing
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Jesus and Fishing

Comments by Jay Young - 27 Mar 2006

Hi Frank and Mary again!

You are very good about quickly answering emails! Thank you!

Anyway, I did think about the two questions: The fish on the grill could have come from regular fish that were caught, cleaned or otherwise prepared in the usual way for the area. Anyway, the fact that they were already there doesn't mean that they came there supernaturally, although Jesus may have been there supernaturally, since he was risen from the dead and in some sort of resurrection body. It doesn't follow that it was miraculous fish -- we simply don't know where the fish came from and since it was not listed as miraculous, whereas all other miracles, when mentioned in the bible, are clearly described as such. So again, to add that to the text is adding to the bible. It is a presumption that the scriptures don't give. Since there is nothing unusual described about the initial fish on the grill, we can only speculate. I still go with normal fish on a normal grill in the normal way, since nothing else is ever inferred.
 
About the quail, though, quail are predominantly walking birds that don't fly far. A strong wind blew them in, and this was definitely a supernatural intervention from the Lord, Yahweh. I also believe that God speaks to and commands animals, as well as sovereignly controls them, like, for instance, when pairs of animals came into the ark, and when, for instance, Balaam's donkey spoke. God can override normal animal behavior, just as he often gives unusual commands to humans, in order to teach other humans that are watching the unusual behavior, a lesson.  In the case of the quail, I believe that God gave a strong wind in order to fulfill his purposes of bringing a bunch of quail. My view, however, is that the quail were alive. Quail are ground birds in general, like chickens. And they, like chickens, only fly for very short distances before they land. It would not have been unusual to me, for them to have been on top of each other, if huge swarming flocks of them had been concentrated into one area, as these were.
 
Sorry, but to try to explain something -- supernatural or otherwise -- with additions to the text is just not normal literary interpretation, in any book. And again, Jesus is the Word. He has no trouble explaining himself clearly. He is a master communicator, in fact, a perfect communicator. I'm sure that all of those quail eventually died, and I presume that many died just from running into one another in the chaos, but it's not right to read into the text and add it to fit whatever pre-conceived philosophies we want to prove. Again, normal literary rules call for it.

I would try to find another Bible text to prove veggie things about Jesus than either one of these two, personally. Actually though, I don't think that they are there in Scripture, but I do believe that USA people have a huge gluttony problem -- and I need to fast more as a part of my discipleship -- and that we, as a culture, eat unnecessary things just because of the lust of the flesh.
 
The fact still is this, from the text, though...Jesus gave his disciples fish and bread to eat. He didn't rebuke them for that, but rather provided it. The more normal interpretation is that Jesus used the physical to recommission them, as you have correctly said, to go into all the world and make disciples, since, as you also said, they had thought that Jesus' mission had failed. He caught the fish to show them, among other things, that they would catch men from all nations and all walks of life...as you correctly said, to make them fishers of men. But, it is not, clearly is not, in my opinion, a text that forbids the eating of animals and/or promotes a veggie lifestyle. In the book of Daniel though, the Hebrews refused to eat the gluttonous rich foods of the king -- that were also probably unclean, that is, not kosher, and probably fatty and laden, maybe with alcohol -- and I think that they ate a vegetable diet of something similar to lentils and/or a vegetable soup, and the Lord blessed them for their obedience, and these easy to digest vegetable foods, did probably sit easy on their health!
 
Anyway, it is interesting and it is making me sure that my world view about food is right. I believe that Christians should basically eat the foods outlined in the Torah -- clean foods, whether meat, grains or fruits. I think that this is borne out in some of the writings in even the New Testament, where it says that our foods are "sanctified by the word of God (the equivalent of the Torah in Greek language) and prayer." I think that many Christians eat whatever they want because they abuse that passage and don't understand how important it is to eat according to what is in the Word.

Regarding food offered to idols, the Messianic Jewish Christians, and other newly converted pagans or Gentiles, did eat meat, even after they became followers of Yeshua (Jesus). They just had other issues about those meats having been offered to demons or rather, the demons behind the idols, and so on.  So again, the eating of meat is not expressly forbidden in itself -- but rather the element of false religion and worship that entered in if/when the meat was first offered to demons in thanksgiving to them, or in thanksgiving or worship of the creature rather than the creator. There is many animistic elements in the religions that have these types of ceremonies before they eat, and it basically ends up being in the family of religions that falsely identify "God" as being everything and in everythign. I simply say, according to Judeo-Christian world view, that God is bigger than every created thing because he is infinite, and so he surrounds everything, but he is separate or holy, from everything else. God is One, as the Scripture says, not many things, and he is holy or separate from all other things. There is no one else like him, for no one is "Good" but God alone, as Jesus affirmed.
 
Anyway, again, I don't find scripture saying not to eat meat, although wisdom teaches the proper time for it, both to be healthy and to be merciful to animals.
 
I think lots of hunting, for instance, is unnecessary and abusive.

Thanks again for the interaction!
Jay

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